Cash can make your SoCal jail stay more comfortable

The number of immigrants caught at the Mexican borderunder President Trump has plunged 40%. But what's more likely to define his presidency? The Obamacare replacement plan. In California, Oroville Dam's damaged emergency spillway may soon roar back into action, and the Southern Californiaselfie that set off a gentrification debate.

Good morning. It's Friday, March 10, and here's what's happening across California:



Pay for your jail stay

When you commit a crime, get ready for a stay in one of L.A. County or Orange County's violent and run-down jails. But if you have some money to spare, you can avoid these horrid conditions and get a much nicer setup at one of the region's small-city jails. "What started out as an antidote to overcrowding has evolved into a two-tiered justice system that allows people convicted of serious crimes to buy their way into safer and more comfortable jail stays." Los Angeles Times

Take a tour

The Seal Beach jail is one place where inmates can pay to stay. "This is like paradise," one said. In Seal Beach he shares a room with three people. There was a large selection of DVDs and books, the hot water never ran out, and he was treated like a human being, he said. Los Angeles Times

A selfie conversation starter

Think of it as the selfie that launched a thousand conversations. It showed one African American man with his eight white neighbors. The photo DeMille Halliburton uploaded that day in October set off a storm of debate in Leimert Park, a middle-class, traditionally African American neighborhood. Los Angeles Times

Two decades later

Twenty years later, the Notorious B.I.G.'s killing remains one of L.A.'s biggest unsolved homicides. There are competing theories about who conspired to kill him, but authorities are no closer to solving the case. Los Angeles Times


Tragic story: Tony Alsabaa, 5, dreams of going home to Damascus, but after coming to Los Angeles alone for treatment for a rare disease, he's stuck here missing his mother. Los Angeles Times

Watch this: The huge infrastructure program funded by L.A. County’s Measure M is one area where the state’s interests and Trump administration’s priorities overlap, and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti is working hard to take advantage of that. This is a look at what one needs to do to build a massive infrastructure project in the age of Trump. Vice

The development question: The push and pull of Los Angeles' transformation preoccupies locals of all stripes. One writer wonders whether downtown L.A. can make room for wealthy new arrivals who will live beside its longstanding homeless population, or if it's doomed to become an enclave of the super-rich like so many other urban centers. Curbed LA


Illegal crossings: The number of immigrants caught at the Mexican border has plunged 40% under Trump. Los Angeles Times


Where to detain them? Here's how ICE could rapidly ramp up its immigration detention capabilities to meet President Trump's pledge to deport 2 million to 3 million people this year. A key part of that effort will be California's county jails, which have plenty of space available due to criminal justice reforms in 2012. KQED

A tough conversation: Los Angeles teachers are talking with their students about what they should do if a parent is detained by ICE. NPR


The Sen-anator? Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is considering running for U.S. Senate in 2018 — possibly as an independent. Politico

No one voted: The voter turnout in Tuesday's election will likely have been the lowest ever. It was so low that even as he trounced his competitors, Mayor Garcetti will have won fewer votes than at least six other L.A. mayors. Los Angeles Times

What does Garcetti do now? After his big win, Mayor Garcetti now has a mandate, but how he will use it has City Hall and the political world guessing. Los Angeles Times


Unsafe conditions: A government watchdog says immigrant inmates were given rotten meat and held in 24-hour solitary confinement at the Theo Lacy jail in Orange County. Orange County Register

Neo-Nazi convicted: A man with swastika tattoos was convicted of yelling racial epithets and slashing a knife at an African American camp counselor outside a summer youth program in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood. San Francisco Chronicle

Tragic story: A Suisun City, Calif., man was arrested Wednesday after police say he bludgeoned his daughter-in-law to death with a hammer because she was "disrespectful." Los Angeles Times


Water everywhere: California is having its rainiest water year since record-keeping began in 1895 — a phenomenon that has lifted tens of millions of residents from drought, according to government records. Los Angeles Times


Riot anniversary exhibition: We're coming up on the 25th anniversary of the L.A. riots, which occurred after a predominantly white jury acquitted four Los Angeles police officers in the videotaped beating of motorist Rodney King. A new exhibition at the California African American Museum called "No Justice, No Peace: LA 1992" looks back. Los Angeles Times


Bunny Museum on the move: The San Gabriel Valley's Bunny Museum is hopping on over to a new location. The museum holds the Guinness World Record for most bunny items. San Gabriel Valley-Tribune

Flower bloom awesomeness: The flower bloom in California this year is expected to be epic. Here are some of the best places to see this "Super Bloom." Men's Journal

More self-driving cars: The number of autonomous vehicles on California's roads has more than doubled as carmakers and big tech companies race against secretive start-ups to test their self-driving cars. Financial Times


Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles area: partly cloudy Friday and Saturday. More weather is here.


Today's California memory comes from Vic Bradley:

"In 1990 I took my then-new girlfriend from Vancouver, Canada, to the Napa Valley Wine Auction and we had a blast. On the drive back to San Francisco, she told me that we were not going straight home. She, a struggling sculptor, had gone into debt to show me her favorite place on Earth. She took me onto a puddle jumper plane and we got off in Santa Barbara — heaven, indeed. Guess who I married a couple of years later? We now live in the South of France, close climatically to SB but not quite the same. Never will be."

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. Send us an email to let us know what you love or fondly remember about our state. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to Benjamin Oreskes and Shelby Grad. Also follow them on Twitter @boreskes and @shelbygrad.